DEPARTMENT of Communities (DoC) will be asked if it is going to fix up or knock down its alleged problem flats in Wellington Street at a meeting with Mosman Park Mayor Brett Pollock next week.
“Last year, when the council was in talks with the department, it was indicated they were hoping to decommission them, but we’re hoping they demolish or refurbish them and change the residents so it’s not just singles but also couples that can control themselves,” Mr Pollock said.
The department runs 23 of the 26 one-bedroom flats in the block at the west end of the street that has been the alleged source of petty crime and anti-social behaviour taking up police resources and exacerbating neighbours over many years.
In East Fremantle, a similar situation with DoC flats near the Swan River caused a grievance motion in State Parliament in 2016, before MPs and the Town of East Fremantle intervened to improve that block.
However, in Mosman Park, the Wellington Street-related incidents have driven at least one couple to sell up.
Mr Pollock was elected in October promising to get his council more involved in tackling crime, and an Australia Day spree of thefts from cars caused the creation of its new community safety group.
He said the flats were not used by recently-released prisoners, and his council would start safety education and get CCTV for a nearby problem carpark because while crime was not its direct responsibility he considered all local governments should get involved.
The DoC met with police to discuss its tenants in Mosman Park last week.
DoC assistant director-general of housing Greg Cash said there were no ex-prisoners at the Wellington Street flats, but it was now investigating complaints against one of the tenancies and police would be told if there was anything illegal.
He said terminating a tenancy depended on police evidence and must be done by a Magistrate.
Senior Sergeant Julie Foley said the police and DoC had a “course of action” for the flats, and officers would work with department on the long-term control of disturbances, including the identification of problem people and properties.